TODAY IN the United States, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton go head-to-head in the second televised Presidential debate ahead of the US General Election on 8 November, now just under one month away. With the latest revelations of Trump's abhorrent comments on women, the debate is sure to create more controversy than any other debate of its kind in recent history.  
This kind of unhelpful rhetoric was also on display during my visit to the United Kingdom and Europe at the start of this month. The UK Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, was forced to defend herself, saying “don’t call me a racist” after there was a backlash against her speech tackling immigration. Ms Rudd claimed she had been “very thoughtful” in wording the speech, in which she suggested foreigners were taking jobs British people could have – despite the UK currently having record levels of employment. At the same time, Ms Rudd and the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, reinforced that the British Government is about to make it much harder to get work as a foreigner.  

It is worrying to see and hear these sort of jingoistic arguments being made in what has been and should remain as one of Europe's culture capitals. However, to use this situation to our advantage, and as strong advocates for free movement, New Zealand should approach Britain with a proposal for a free movement agreement, similar to the arrangement between New Zealand and Australia. In my view, successful nations like Britain and New Zealand shouldn't be putting up walls and shutting off from each other when it's the exchange of ideas that has made our nations so prosperous.

Meanwhile, here at home, Commonwealth Youth New Zealand continues to champion human rights and fight against inequality. This Wednesday, CYNZ is proud to host an event called Mind The Gap. This panel discussion brings together some amazing female leaders - such as Dame Susan Glazebrook, Judge of the Supreme Court, Jacqui Dean MP, Member of Parliament and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association delegate of the 51st Parliament , Professor Wendy Larner, Provost at Victoria University of Wellington, and Sharn Riggs, National Secretary of the Association of Staff in Tertiary Education - and will address the lack of female representation in top leadership positions in New Zealand. My sincere thanks go to Isobel Pepper for organising what will be one of CYNZ's standout events to date.

My thanks also go to Isobel and Brad Olsen for representing CYNZ at the official opening of Wellington's Commonwealth Walkway. The Walkway, an initiative CYNZ has been working on for some time now in conjunction with the Wellington City Council, the British High Commission, and the Outdoor Trust, was unveiled by the Governor-General, last week. The Walkway, which takes in 32 of Wellington's most important and historic sties, is a novel way of encouraging people to get outside and take a closer look at the things that surround them. As such a walkable city, this gives Wellingtonians and visitors another reason to explore the capital and enjoy its rich history and beauty and to get active and get walking. Stay tuned for more information about a Commonwealth Walkway in Auckland. 

Finally, please keep an eye on your inbox for some important announcements regarding the appointment of CYNZ's new patron, confirmation of those selected to attend 33Sixty Singapore at the end of October, and finally, details of our end-of-year function.

With kind regards,

Executive Director 
Commonwealth Youth New Zealand

THE COMMONWEALTH Theme for 2017 has been announced and is centred around peace-building. At a time of increasing instability and uncertainty in the world, the Commonwealth family of nations in its rich diversity becomes an ever more-needed source of strength and hope for all its members.

DURING THE recent visit to New Zealand by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, it was announced that New Zealand and Sri Lanka will open High Commissions in each other's capitals. CYNZ looks forward to our two counties furthering diplomatic, cultural and economic ties.

EARLIER THIS month, Wellington's Commonwealth Walkway.  officially opened by the Governor-General, Dame Patsy Reddy. CYNZ was represented by Executive Member, Isobel Pepper, who spoke about youth leadership in the Commonwealth and the Pathway initiative, and Brad Olsen, our Deputy Executive Director.

ANASEINI NUKU, one of CYNZ's policy gurus, writes about why she thinks the jurisdiction of New Zealand's Youth Court should be raised to age 17 and how the status quo they denies some young people entitlement to equal treatment in the justice system. Read her argument here. 
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